The graduation event opened with a career forum where the graduates had the opportunity to meet and connect with a number of local Belarusian employers This was followed by “Graduates Talk” in TED-talk format, where a number of past graduates from the programmes presented their own ideas and spoke about how the scholarships have had an impact on their life choices.
The day concluded with guest speakers from Belarusian civil society and businesses, and a ceremony awarding the 90 new graduates with their diplomas. Handing out the diplomas were Andrea Wiktorin, Ambassador to the EU delegation in Belarus, Ian Fox, Charge d’affaires for the UK embassy in Belarus, and Bo Harald Tillberg, Director of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ office in Lithuania.
The objective of this investment in the next generation of academics in Belarus is to contribute to the development of Belarusian civil society. The success of the scholarship programmes is largely thanks to the Belarusian students’ high completion rate. Following their graduation, participants in the programmes are expected to enter a profession or civil role that makes a positive contribution to the development of their country. The scholarship programmes’ final students are expected to graduate in November 2018, with the overall objectives until then being to provide support by way of seminars and conferences under the auspices of the programmes.
Facts about the programmes
Open European Scholarship Scheme (OESS)
- Budget: EUR 4 million
- Period: August 2011 to July 2016
- 85 graduates (16 bachelors / 69 masters)
European Scholarship Scheme for Young Belarusians (ESSYB)
- Budget: EUR 8 million
- Period: November 2013 to November 2018
- 216 graduates (27 bachelors / 191 masters)
OESS and ESSYB are implemented by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ office in Lithuania in close co-operation with the Secretariat to the Nordic Council of Ministers in Copenhagen.